Lauren Padgett

Development Director


As SSDP’s Development Director, Lauren works with the executive team to raise funds that make SSDP’s programs possible. Lauren studied psychology at Northeastern University and spent her early career in Boston counseling and supporting adults and young people living with mental illness.

Lauren moved back to her hometown of Washington, DC after college to work as an executive assistant and conference planner for the National Council for Behavioral Health. In 2013, she got her start in the drug policy reform movement by stuffing envelopes at Marijuana Policy Project and later joined the membership team in a full-time role.

Lauren has been living with autoimmune disease since 2009, and is particularly passionate about advocating for safe access to medical cannabis in her home city. In 2014, she testified before the DC Council and the DC Department of Health in favor of a physician-controlled conditions list for the medical marijuana program, which was unanimously adopted by the DC Council through emergency legislation.

Lauren is passionate about grassroots fundraising and believes that it plays a crucial role in movement building and fosters community and accountability among organizations and their supporters. She especially enjoys training and mentoring new fundraisers.

Lauren is a founding board member of the harm reduction web app DrugStory. She also serves on the board of the Source Research Foundation, which makes grants to students studying the cultural and clinical applications of psychedelics. She’s also the Social Mission Advisor to the cannabis networking app LeafList. In the summer, Lauren plays catcher for the famous One Hitters softball team.